Bulgaria’s Education Ministry: 117 000 young pupils back in class since Covid-19 testing began

Nearly 8200 classes with more than 117 000 first- to fourth-grade pupils across the country are attending classes in person after the process of testing children twice-weekly for Covid-19 began, Bulgaria’s Education Ministry said on November 17.

Citing district departments of education, the ministry said that 4687 classes, a total of 65 684 pupils, had resumed in-person learning on November 15 and 16.

Last week, when the testing process began, in-person learning resumed for 51 684 children, the ministry said.

Of all the pupils tested earlier this week, 19 tested positive for Covid-19. Eleven children tested positive last week.

In the first two days of this week, 5604 teachers and 3464 non-teaching staff who did not have a “green certificate” were also tested with rapid antigen tests. Six teachers tested positive, as did nine non-teaching staff. Last week, nine teachers and three non-teaching staff tested positive.

The testing was introduced for young pupils in municipalities with a total Covid-19 morbidity rate of more than 250 per 100 000 people. The tests are saliva-based and non-intrusive.

The Education Ministry said that the process was “going smoothly”.

It said that it had distributed 766 000 tests.

The ministry said that it expected new deliveries of free tests that would enable older pupils to return to classes.

(Photo via the Education Ministry website)

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